The art of staying safe, through the treatment but above all the *prevention* of injury and disease.

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9
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2answers
459 views

What precautions should I take when hiking among herds of elk?

During certain times of the year, some of the hiking trails near where I live wind through herds of elk standing on or near the trails. What precautions should you take when hiking among elk?
8
votes
6answers
4k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
8
votes
1answer
96 views

What kinds of things are the “defensive driving” equivalent to handling campfires?

In What do you do if the fire does get "out of control"?, someone asked a legitimate question, and @berry120 wrote detailed response, and ended with a "tl;dr" saying, " but if the proper ...
8
votes
3answers
206 views

Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?

Growing up we were always taught to never step straight over a rock or log because it is a good way to step on or startle a snake that you cannot see. However, on a lot of hiking forums I see it ...
8
votes
1answer
332 views

What causes an avalanche and can I predict one?

Avalanches are extremely dangerous when mountaineering, winter backpacking/camping, or backcountry skiing/snowboarding. What causes them and is there any way I can predict when an avalanche is about ...
8
votes
1answer
282 views

Toproping with two ropes joined by a double fisherman's

The other day we were waiting in line for a popular 200 foot single pitch climb in the valley and the party in front of us was using two 70 meter ropes they had joined together with a double ...
8
votes
2answers
453 views

Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?

In Svalbard, the arctic archipelago administrated by Norway, anyone leaving Longyearbyen is required to carry a rifle for their own safey. For grizzly bears, Wikivoyage recommends that Bear repellent ...
8
votes
2answers
543 views

What style crampon should I use for my hiking boots and how do I adjust them?

I've been using microspikes on my hiking boots and find that they aren't up to the challenge of hiking up snowy peaks. I use snowshoes but find some mountains would be better served by crampons and ...
8
votes
1answer
425 views

Does having sex in the back-country attract bears or other critters?

As stated in the title: is there any evidence that the hormones etc that the body produces during intercourse increases one's likelihood of encountering a bear in the back-country?
8
votes
1answer
163 views

How can I tell when pemmican has spoiled?

Following this video I have made pemmican. When making the pemmican I used a food processor instead of rocks (because I'm lazy). I handled it with care, and according to this handbook, this stuff ...
7
votes
3answers
729 views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
7
votes
3answers
323 views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
7
votes
2answers
277 views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
7
votes
3answers
320 views

Is there a large difference in WFA (Wilderness First Aid) programs?

I am looking at taking a WFA (Wilderness First Aid) class and there are a couple of outfits in my area offering it. Namely, SOLO, NOLS, and The American Red Cross. I have heard nothing but great ...
7
votes
2answers
198 views

How big a fall is a “major” fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
7
votes
2answers
220 views

What is the best way to break up a fight among dogs on a sled line?

Fights happen. Sled dogs have personalities that aren't always compatible... Is there a technique to breaking up a fight that will minimize risk of injury to both me and my dogs?
7
votes
3answers
499 views

Backup prusik for Abseiling: Where does it go?

When abseiling from an anchor during rock climbing, I like to use a backup prusik as a potential lifesaver in case I screw up. However, I have heard different advice on where to put it, both for ...
7
votes
3answers
228 views

How do I Eskimo roll a kayak?

If I am whitewater or sea kayaking, it is possible that my kayak will get overturned leading to a live or death situation. I've heard that it is possible to roll the kayak so it is right side up ...
7
votes
2answers
570 views

Is it safe to use a motorcycle helmet instead of a skiing helmet for skiing?

I have a perfectly good motorcycle helmet (one that encompasses the whole head, including the chin) that I never use (I bought it for lessons, but never bought a motorcycle). However, I do not have a ...
7
votes
1answer
90 views

Are bears more attracted to menstruating females?

People have speculated that women hiking in bear country during their menstrual cycle might increase their chances of a bear encounter. Is this true? What can be done to minimize risk? Related ...
7
votes
2answers
527 views

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fiber?

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fibre? I have done a Google search already, but wanted some pointers with people who ...
7
votes
1answer
128 views

Sizing up high altitude boots

I currently use La Sportiva WildCat Trail Running Shoes size 43 for trail running/light hiking and Nepal EVO's size 44 for Ice Climbing and Alpine adventures. The Nepal EVO's fit me perfectly with a ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

Do leeches have a preference?

So I did a hike in a forest infested with leeches. I ended up with quite a few leech bites (around 20). But, at the same time, another hiker got just one bite! We both were wearing similar shoes, ...
7
votes
0answers
50 views

How frequent are polar bears inland in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador?

I am considering a trek in August/September in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador (Canada's newest National Park; for info see 1, 2, 3). However, I am worried by the prospect of ...
6
votes
3answers
338 views

Knot for Joining the ropes of different thicknesses

As, I have been using a Double Fisherman's knot to join the two ropes. With some physics that I know, in Double Fisherman's knot the same amount of pressure (stress) is applied over the two turns of ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

Is it really that unsafe to touch a stranger's wound?

I am about to participate in a first aid training workshop. Before I do so, I am supposed to pass an online first aid course. While going through the course, I came across this section about applying ...
6
votes
2answers
94 views

What to do when a black bear got a hold of an open bear can?

When an adult black bear without cubs in sight got a hold of an open bear-can, is it advisable to try to scare him/her away (with noise, or by approaching him/her as a group?) I am asking both for ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Can the Swiss Alps be hiked in the winter?

I would like to hike part of the Alps that go from France to Slovenia, but I'm not sure what type of equipment I'll need. I'm wondering if I need to bring crampons; I have Icetrekkers (Diamond Grip), ...
6
votes
2answers
459 views

How to be safe on lake and river ice and what should I do when I fall through?

It's late October and in cold, northern hemisphere climates, winter has arrived, and moderate northern hemisphere climates will follow soon. In my area, small lakes are already frozen and people have ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

What are the most important indicators of an high-risk avalanche zone?

If I'm heading out ski touring into an area I haven't been, what are the most important things to look for and think about to avoid high-risk areas for avalanches?
6
votes
1answer
126 views

How safe is sleeping in a bear country?

We have recently hiked in Slovakian mountains where bears live. I’m not too concerned about the bears during the day, as we make enough noise to avoid an encounter. But I am not sure about sleeping ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I mix fuels when using the MSR whisperlite international stove?

I have an MSR whisperlite international stove. Can I mix fuels when both require the same jet? Background: When backpacking I often just carry one fuel bottle, filled with white gas. On my last trip ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Freezing fingers and toes

When I work outside in near zero degree temps and mittens or gloves are too cumbersome to work with my fingers get so cold they ache. My toes may get cold and ache as well depending on how long I'm ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the problem with electrolyte imbalance and how do I mitigate it?

In the past week I've seen two answers mentioning electrolytes; one about the grand canyon and one in an answer on a question that was actually about wildlife, but where other desert dangers were ...
5
votes
5answers
363 views

How safe is drinking distilled water?

Are there any adverse effects of drinking distilled water (possibly obtained melting snow or using other survival techniques like a solar still)? Maybe dehydratation, diarrhea...? Some people even ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

When climbing should a carabiner ever be clipped to the tie-in loops, and should anything other than a carabiner ever attach to the belay loop?

I'm a beginning climber and am trying to resolve conflicting instruction related to tying into my harness. During a recent outing a friend (an experienced climber, but not an instructor) was showing ...
5
votes
2answers
242 views

If an autoblock inteferes with a belay device will a fireman belay have any effect?

When rappeling I understand the need for a backup--whether an autoblock below the belay device, or a second person providing a fireman belay. My understanding is that using an autoblock incorrectly ...
5
votes
3answers
152 views

How can I report an emergency via SMS text message?

When hiking, I often find myself in areas where cell phone reception is poor or intermittent. Sometimes the signal is not good enough to make a call, but it is still possible to send text messages ...
5
votes
2answers
62 views

Safe looking for caches in hollows

Caches are very often hidden in hollows. Generally any tree with more or less visible hollow is a very probable geocache hide. Often you can't easily look into that hollow because it's deep or ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

How do I identify dangerous, marshy land?

At a casual look, grass with a bit of surface water on it can look very similar to a potentially deadly marsh, and in many rural places there can be lots of both after it's been raining! In dry ...
5
votes
2answers
964 views

What are the options for kayak self-rescue without a paddle float?

In a standard kayaking class, you're taught solo self-rescues using a paddle float and assisted rescues using another kayak. Then there are eskimo rolls. But I've also heard about other self-rescue ...
5
votes
2answers
755 views

What is the correct way to attach an autoblock to your harness for rappelling?

When rappelling and using an autoblock consisting of a french prusik knot it seems there may be some options on how and where to attach the autoblock to my harness. Is there a correct placement on ...
5
votes
2answers
176 views

How to choose a class of rapids for a variety of skill levels?

I've been whitewater rafting (and inadvertent whitewater canoeing ;) a couple times, and I'd like to get a bunch of friends together to go with me. I'd bring enough people to fill a raft (5 or 6), but ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Urbex question: How to protect myself from asbestos? [closed]

During some Urbex explorations sometimes I'll encounter a building with an asbestos warning. Is there any way that I can safely explore these buildings? Would Just something like a surgical mask and ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

Carry compound bow on back

I'm new to hunting. Last time I went, I found myself needing to go up or down relatively steep slopes with a little bit of snow. For that kind of terrain it's nice to have both hands free to catch ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

Does camping in polar bear country require someone to keep guard during the night?

Some animals are big and dangerous and, when hungry, may realise that humans contain a pretty decent amount of meat. I've never hiked in such areas, but they do exist. Photo from Wikipedia, ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

How to get started with packrafts?

I love hiking and I'm starting to love longer cycling trips too. I've done combined cycling/hiking trips (cycling to the trailhead of a hike). Last summer I met someone who carried an inflatable raft ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Is a mother bear more defensive during early summer compared to late summer and autumn?

According to the Wikipedia page on Grizzly Bears, Mothers defending their cubs are the most prone to attacking, being responsible for 70% of fatal injuries to humans. Is there any seasonal ...
4
votes
2answers
231 views

Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

How to prepare for and survive wildfire?

In some areas, such as the western US, wildfires are common during the summer dry season. "Fire safety" advice usually centers on not starting a wildfire, e.g. extinguishing or avoiding campfires. ...